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Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s loss against West Ham.

Thomas Frank sent out the Bees in a 3-5-2 for the 7th time in a row in the Premier League. The back 3 consisted of Zanka, Ajer, and Mee with Pinnock still out injured until March. Sergio Reguilon and Keane Lewis-Potter started as the wingbacks with Jensen, Nørgaard, and Onyeka the midfielders. Maupay came back into the starting lineup to join Toney up top.

David Moyes deployed his usual 4-2-3-1 with Coufal, Mavropanos, Zouma, and Emerson on the backline. Soucek and Alvarez worked in a double pivot with Ward-Prowse ahead of them. Kudus and Paquetá were the wide players providing support for the striker, Bowen.

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The box midfield is commonly used with fullbacks sliding into the base, but having Reguilon and Lewis-Potter stay wide made it more difficult for them to get back in position out of possession. This led to Ben Mee and Zanka being forced to defend in those wide areas.

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Quick Stats:

Possession: West Ham 41% – 59% Brentford

xG: West Ham 1.51 – 1.04 Brentford

xGOT: West Ham 2.45 – 1.36 Brentford

Shots: West Ham 17 – 14 Brentford

Shots on Target: West Ham 6 – 8 Brentford

Clearances: West Ham 35 – 17 Brentford

PPDA: West Ham 14.30 – 6.46 Brentford

Other Brentford stats:

Interceptions: 12

Aerial duels won: 15 (39%)



West Ham took advantage of Brentford’s 3-5-2 by exploiting the space left by wingbacks pushing forward. This forced Zanka to defend wide areas, and a few cutbacks put West Ham up early.

The Bees had trouble in buildup and West Ham’s press forced some errors. Brentford found themselves having to defend in transitional moments, which is always a difficult task.

New tactics, using a box midfield, failed to pick apart West Ham’s defence. Brentford only had two shots in the first half, needing to make tactical adjustments but it was too little too late.

Brentford have shown some concerning signs of lackluster defending recently. The underlying numbers suggest a recent decline, with Brentford already allowing 14 xGA through 7 matches in 2024. This season in 2023, Brentford allowed 25.3 xGA through 19 matches, which, although a very small sample size, indicates a worrying trend for the Bees.